If you are serious about selling….clear it out.

The first 30 days on the market are arguably the most important days in determining the sale of a home. When a new house hits the market, Realtor’s eagerly call their client base to notify them of the property which may fit their needs. As a result, heavier buyer traffic can be expected during the first days on the market. If you are serious about selling your home, it is vital that the home is prepared to show at its best from the minute it hits the market. Some people try to ‘casually’ enter the market, and fail to stage to sale. This ‘casual’ entrance to market may leave the home feeling cluttered and too ‘lived-in’ for potential buyers. Unfortunately, for many sellers, it takes months of showings before they finally understand that it is time to de-clutter and make the home ready for new owners. The key to selling is to stage a home so that other’s can envision themselves in the space. Many buyers do not have an eye for seeing past clutter or ‘unique’ personal decor preferences. Instead, buyers enjoy seeing cleaned out closets and cabinets, clear surface areas, and spacious furniture placements. Often this requires the seller to rent a storage unit for a time and store extra furniture and personal decor until the sale of the home. For those serious about selling, this extra step is important for realizing the homes maximum resale value, and having the best odds of a shorter sale cycle. Before you place the “for sale sign’ ask a Realtor to be honest with you and tell you (from their...

Coldwell Banker International Film Festival

Have you heard the news? We’ll be following the contest and look forward to seeing the videos! Straight from Coldwell Banker’s Blue Matter blog: “The true value of a home. Expressed around the world. That is the theme of what will be a first in the real estate industry. For the next 3 weeks, Coldwell Banker Real Estate is going to share what “home” truly means not just in the US, but across the globe. A few months ago we worked with a company called, MoFilm, to commission the creation of a series of 10 videos that asked filmmakers to share with us what the value of a home is in their country. We received dozens of videos from the likes of China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Africa, Great Britain, Canada and more. We selected 10 videos as winners and we will be unveiling one video a day starting on September 9. There are some amazing stories of home in this selection. What’s really interesting is how each video is different in the details, but the overarching concept remains the same: home is a place we love. After the 10 international videos, we’ll continue the film festival by premiering 2 new episodes of our luxury home series World’s Most Expensive Homes. We’ve been to South Beach and Aspen in our first to episodes, but in Episode 3 we’ll head outside the US and seean amazing estate on the gorgeous beaches of St. Thomas. Then in Episode 4, we’ll explore a home that’s also a winery in the perfect place for such a residence, Napa, CA. To close out the film festival, we’ll share some of the...

Erase Ugly Scratches from Your Wood Floors

By: Jane Hoback Published: January 14, 2011 Repair wood floors and scratches that make rooms look worn out. We’ll show you easy ways to put the luster back into your floors. Camouflage scratches Take some artistic license to hide minor scratches in wood floors by rubbing on stain-matching crayons and Sharpie pens. Wax sticks, such as Minwax Stain Markers, are great scratch busters because they include stain and urethane, which protects the floor’s finish. Don’t be afraid to mix a couple of colors together to get a good match. And don’t sweat if the color is a little off. Real hardwoods mix several hues and tones. So long as you cover the contrasting “white” scratches, color imperfections will match perfectly. Homemade polish Mix equal parts olive oil and vinegar, which work together to remove dirt, moisturize, and shine wood. Pour a little directly onto the scratch. Let the polish soak in for 24 hours, then wipe off. Repeat until the scratch disappears. Spot-sand deep scratches It takes time to repair wood gouges: Sand, fill, sand again, stain, and seal. Here are some tips to make the job go faster. Sand with fine-gauge steel wool or lightweight sandpaper. Always sand with the grain. Use wood filler, which takes stain better than wood putty. Use a plastic putty knife to avoid more scratches. Seal the area with polyurethane, or whatever product was used on the floor originally. Apply the polyurethane coat with a lambs wool applicator, which avoids air bubbles in the finish. Fix gaps in floor Old floorboards can separate over time. Fill the gaps with colored wood putty. Or, if you have some leftover...

Budget Kitchen Remodeling: 5 Money-Saving Steps

By: Gretchen Roberts Published: January 19, 2012 Can’t afford an entire kitchen remodel in one fell swoop? You can complete the work in 5 budget-saving stages (and still cook dinner during the down time). Stage one: Start with a complete design plan  Your plan should be comprehensive and detailed — everything from the location of the refrigerator to which direction the cabinet doors will open to whether you need a spice drawer. To save time (and money) during tear-out and construction, plan on using your existing walls and kitchen configuration. That’ll keep plumbing and electrical systems mostly intact, and you won’t have the added expense — and mess — of tearing out walls. Joseph Feinberg, vice president of Allied Kitchen and Bath in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., recommends hiring a professional designer, such as an architect or a certified kitchen designer, who can make sure the details of your plans are complete. You’ll pay about 10% of the total project for a pro designer, but you’ll save a whole bunch of headaches that would likely cost as much — or more — to fix. Plus, a pro is likely to offer smart solutions you hadn’t thought of. For a nominal fee, you also can get design help from a major home improvement store. However, you’ll be expected to purchase some of your cabinets and appliances from that store. Cost: professional designer: $5,800 (10% of total) Key strategies: Once your plans are set, you can hold onto them until you’re ready to remodel. Time frame: 3-6 months Read on to learn more budget kitchen remodeling tips: Stage two: Order the cabinets, appliances, and lighting fixtures Stage three: Gut...

5 Things You Forgot to Clean in Your Bathroom

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon Published: March 30, 2012 Your bathroom, one of the rooms you clean most, hides areas that rarely see a scrub brush. It’s time to tackle these 5 nasty spots you probably forgot. But we presume you or someone else regularly swishes out the toilets, wipes out the tubs and sinks, and mops your bathroom flooring. But you may be missing some critical areas. With the help of Kristi Mailloux, president ofMolly Maid, we’ve compiled a list of 5 bathroom spots home owners often forget to clean: 1. Showerheads: A warm white vinegar bath will get rid of mineral deposits, making yourlow-flow shower head flow even lower. Let the showerhead soak for about 20 minutes, then poke a paperclip into shower head holes still clogged. Scrub with an old toothbrush, then rinse and repeat if necessary. 2. Toilet bases: Mildew can grow on the caulking around the base of your toilet. Spray with white vinegar or disinfecting household cleaner, then scrub with a hard-bristled brush. Dry thoroughly. 3. Shower curtains: Clean soap scum and mildew from plastic shower curtains by tossing them into your washer on the gentle and cold (never hot!) water cycle, with detergent and ½ cup vinegar. If mildew is present, add ½ cup of bleach instead of vinegar. Toss a couple of large towels into the machine to act as scrubbers. Hang curtains back on your shower curtain rod, spread them out, and let them drip-dry. If you turn on the bathroom fan, they’ll dry faster. 4. Drains: We don’t usually pay much attention to drains until they’re clogged. But all year your hair, toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner are building up in sink...